Monday, 29 April 2013

Sweeney Todd (musical theatre)

EODS are back at the end of May with their presentation of the fantastic Stephen Sondheim musical Sweeney Todd. There's quite a buzz around about this show so don't wait too long to get your tickets or you might be disappointed!

A tale of bloody revenge, the original story is said to have been published as Victorian 'penny dreadful', The String Of Pearls. The tale has been told since in several incarnations including ballet and a play by Christopher Bond. Sondheim's musical version, based on Bond's play, first appeared in the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in 1980 winning the Olivier Award for Best Musical in the same year. The most recent professional revival in 2011/2012 starred Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton and Tim Burton's 2007 film version partnered Johnny Depp with Helena Bonham Carter. The score is notoriously tricky for actors to perform with every word and pause needing to be 'exactly so' while the roles themselves offer great versatility and room for interpretation.

Sweeney Todd returns to London from fifteen years in Australia where he was wrongly sent as a convict. He goes to Mrs Lovett's pie shop and asks about renting the room upstairs. Mrs Lovett tells him about the previous tenant, a barber named Benjamin Barker, before she recognises Todd as the returned man. Todd learns that his wife poisoned herself after she was attacked by the very same Judge Turpin who sentenced him to transportation, and that now Judge Turpin is keeping Todd's daughter captive until the day he can marry her. Mrs Lovett gives Todd back the shiny silver razors she has kept safely in case he should return. She tells him to set up again as a barber. Todd declares revenge on everyone who has wronged him. When Todd begins slitting throats instead of shaving them, Mrs Lovett comes up with a novel idea of how they can dispose of his victims.

Devonshire Park Theatre, Wed 29th May - Sat 1st Jun, 19:45.
Thu and Sat matinees, 14:30.
Tickets various prices, available online, by calling 01323 412000, or in person at the Box Office and the Tourist Information Office.

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